CHENNAI: Pink balls, which will be used for the second-ever day/night Test in India beginning at the refurbished stadium in Ahmedabad on February 24, are expected to retain their shape for a longer period.
Sanspareils Greenlands (SG), the manufacturer, has made the improvisation to ensure the need to change the balls during the contest doesn't arise.
"These are the same set of balls used for the inaugural D/N Test at Kolkata in 2019. Feedback was positive then. Everybody was happy with it. Shape retention (of the balls), however, will be better this time," Paras Anand, SG's marketing and sales director, told TNIE.
As many as 36 balls have been supplied to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the match. Six dozens of balls were supplied ahead of the Kolkata Test. Both India and Bangladesh received the balls only after the first Test of the series in Indore. But Virat Kohli and Co along with their English counterparts received pink balls for training even before the ongoing series which began in Chennai on February 5.
"We have given the balls in bulk to the BCCI in January. The balls in turn were distributed to both the teams for training, which is why a few of them including Hardik Pandya were seen practising with them after the second Test in Chennai," added Anand.
Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara had spoken on issues related to sighting of the pink ball under lights after the Kolkata Test, but Anand asserted the problem is not specific to SG pink balls. "Batsmen have to adjust especially during the twilight. The more they play, the more they will get used to of it."
He, though, played down the dew factor saying bowlers confront it in every format and know better how to deal with it. There are also doubts whether the players will get will reverse swing but Anand believed it all depends on the teams and how they shine the old ball. "If they keep the shine intact one side of the old ball, they will be able to get reverse swing. Again, it all depends on the wicket. Even dew will have some impact as it will wet the ball from both sides, making it to lose the shine."
Anand, however, emphasised anything could be said with certainty only after the second session on Day 1. "Making any prediction now is difficult. We saw the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 matches played at Motera. The pitch has turn but let's wait for the Test to begin," he signed off.